Four Options When Government Gets in the Way of Your Dreams

Illustration by Matthew Drake   This article is adapted from a presentation given at FEE and SFL seminars.  Co-authored with James Walpole for The Freeman. --------------------- We all want to live free, but we have a problem: governments don’t always want us to. From seemingly mundane rules…


A Tale of Two Cities Part 2: Why People are Dumb at the Ballot Box

This is the sequel to a post about the two spheres we all dwell in - the political and the civil - and how each affect our behavior. Originally published in The Freeman. Why do so many San Franciscans want to curb Airbnb’s innovative business model? Proposition F would have restricted the number of…


How to Change the World: My Personal Journey

The Foundation for Economic Education published a video of one of the talks I gave at a seminar last summer.   http://youtu.be/cK2DBsud3mo


A Tale of Two Cities: Civil vs. Political Society

In one city it seems the innovation never ceases.  Bright and talented dreamers from across the globe flock there to build amazing things.  They create solutions to problems both commonplace and incomprehensible.  You can find entrepreneurs and investors working round the clock on everything from…


The Futility of Reform

Don't run for class president.  Don't go to HOA meetings.  Don't join a committee.  Don't get involved in political campaigns. All of these activities are about reform.  Get into the institution, play by its rules, and try to make it behave differently than it wants to. Forget this approach.  It…


Entrepreneurship Needs the Right Context

Entrepreneurship is really sexy right now.  Startup founders are like rock stars and you can't go a day without seeing articles about them.  As far as it goes, I welcome this trend.  Entrepreneurship, as J.B. Say might define it, is the act of moving resources from lower to higher valued uses, or…


How Change Happens - Higher Ed. Edition

The current higher education model is flawed.  If we’re serious about changing it, first we need to get serious about understanding how social change happens.  Intentions and action are not enough to bring about desired ends.  We need an understanding of the causal relationships involved in order…


Things I Care Deeply About That Cannot Be Changed Through Law

My heart breaks over the knowledge that more than a million abortions occur annually in the US alone.  Yet I do not believe changes in the legality of the practice are the best way to improve the situation. Let me state at the outset that the entire issue of the morality abortion comes down to…


If You Did Vote, Don't Complain

Sometimes people say, "If you didn't vote, don't complain."  Nonsense.  Everyone can complain.  Complaining about pompous politicians and oppressive regulations doesn't require participation in popularity lotteries.  In fact, if one were to stipulate who has less reason to complain, it would be…


Science Doesn't Exist

I sometimes hear people say things like, "If science supports X policy, it should be enacted."  Hiding behind the word science for your moral or political beliefs is a bad idea, because science doesn't exist as something that can be accountable or take responsibility. Of course there is a method of…